Saturday, September 13, 2008

What election? -- Task lists

On November 4th there is one candidate you won't see on the election ballot. That candidate is "none of the above". In Nevada (of all places!), one can select "None of these candidates". Why not have this option available nationally? Right now the next best option to this is voting against the candidate you like the least, as opposed to actively endorsing someone you do like. But this is not an encouraging situation. Disillusioned voters should have a clear and unambiguous choice available to them, eh?

There are many effective ways to delay getting stuff done. One of the more popular of which is to create a task list. Anecdotal evidence on the interwebs suggests that these lists are simply more time and effort than they are worth. Having earned my black belt many years ago in the fine art of procrastination and the allied skills of deceiption and redirection, about a week ago I decided to make a collosal task list of my own big enough to eclipse anything of the kind I have yet made. It gives me a great deal of personal satisfaction to see what I haven't done yet - there is a palpable feeling of untapped potential. It doesn't matter than I don't know when I will become fluent in a foreign language, be able to play a guitar like The Edge, or create a monumental work of art. I've carefully noted each of those on my task list along with about ninety other things. It's not pedantic (though I'm not ruling that off out of hand). Honestly, brainstorming my future goals is kinda cool and fun.


Aratina said...

* During a recent class I took on government, I formulated my own optimal voting strategy: vote for the candidate who will likely do the least amount of damage out of the pool of main contenders.

* The electoral college really is a barrier to the 'tyranny of the majority' and it is the main reason why ballots are not the same nationwide. States ultimately decide what is on the ballot for their constituents.

* I have read about recent studies in psychology that showed a larger number of choices actually leave people unhappy. If I recall correctly, in one, participants clung to highly improbable opportunities and that caused them to, in the end, lose against the rare decisive person who was unafraid to drop unproductive opportunities. In another, people with more choices were less motivated and performed poorly compared to people given only two or three choices.

Keir said...

*That's in line with the moral theory of negative consequentialism.

*Unfortunately I don't know if the November 4th election will have this option in Nevada. I'd be interested in finding out.

*That makes sense. I'd have more doubt whether I chose the best option if there were more options. But is isn't just about how many options one has, the quality of those options is important too. This seems to compare with game theory somehow.